After quitting her pharmacy job in Toronto and moving to B.C., Cherryl Pacheco signed up for the one-year community pharmacy residency program at the University of British Columbia in an effort to rediscover "a focus on cognitive services and clinical work."
Her focus remains sharp to this day, as a member of the Independent Clinical Care Pharmacist Initiative by UniPHARM, a wholesale buying company with independent pharmacies in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon. Pacheco works two days a week at Robin's Pharmacy in Vancouver and two days in Mark's Pharmacy in Delta. In addition to conducting med reviews under PharmaCare's Medication Review Services program, Pacheco is one of 300 pharmacists in the province participating in the Medication Management Project (MMP), a pilot project launched in September 2010 and finishing in January 2012. MMP fees range from $60 to $90 for consultations with patients who take more than one medication.
Pacheco typically conducts six or seven med reviews per day, made possible by the fact that she is always scheduled as the extra pharmacist on duty. "All pharmacists are trained to do what I'm doing, but when you get into a busy dispensary the resources aren't always there," says Pacheco. "These pharmacies want to build relationships with patients by offering value-added services. By hiring me on a part-time basis they don't have to commit to paying for a full-time pharmacist," she adds.
Pacheco is eager to see how the government will continue to make better use of pharmacists' skills as part of its three-year Pharmacy Services Agreement with the British Columbia Pharmacy Association and the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores. "It's encouraging that we are moving to a more patient services based model of practice and away from product-oriented practices. I'm hopeful that these government-funded programs will stick around and continue to allot money to pay for cognitive services."